Ten years after his death, Frank Zappa continues to influence popular culture. With almost one hundred recordings still in print, Zappa remains a classic American icon. Scores of bands have been influenced by (and have shamelessly imitated) his music, and a talented roster of musicians passed through Zappa s bands. Now comes the definitive biography of Zappa by Barry Miles, best-selling author of "Hippie" and "Paul McCartney: Many Years from Now," who knew Zappa personally and was present at the recording of some of his most important albums. Miles follows Zappa from his sickly Italian-American childhood in the 1940s (his father worked for the military and was used to test the effectiveness of new biological warfare agents) to his youthful pursuit of what was a lifelong dream: becoming a classical composer. Zappa brings together the many different personalities of this music legend together for the first time: the self-taught musician and composer who gained fame with the rock band the Mothers of Invention; the political antagonist who mocked presidents while being invited by Vaclav Havel to represent Czechoslovakia s cultural interests in the United States, and Zappa the family man who was married to the same woman for over thirty years."